The potential for eye injuries varies with the job. If you work as a logger, the chances of getting a wood chip or a stick in your eye is high and you should always wear a hard hat and wrap-around protective lenses. If you work in a battery factory, or any other factory, or in construction, the chances of injury are also high and the need for eye protection and first aid knowledge are great. Even if you work in an office, you run the risk, however slim, of poking a pencil or fingernail in your eye.
Some workplaces, such as chemical factories, are required by law to have eye wash stations installed at specified intervals. These can be plumbed stations, which shoot water into the eyes like a drinking fountain, or any of several other devices that shoot a continuous jet of water, saline solution or chemical wash into the eyes.
Whether your workplace has eye wash stations or not, you still need to protect yourself. In most industrial jobs, safety glasses are a must. If there are eye wash stations, know where they are and how to use them. If you get something in your eye, flush it immediately, for up to 30 minutes. If you injure your eye or can’t get a particle or chemical out, bandage it and go to the emergency room or to an eye doctor.
The latest emergency first aid for eyes is the “eye wash spray.” These are inexpensive, remain sterile and fully charged for up to four years, and should be available in every workplace, even if those with regular eye wash stations. If your workplace does not make these available, purchase your own (great for construction, logging and firefighting). It’s also a good idea for when you go fishing, work in the garage, etc.
© 2010 Bio-Logic Aqua Research